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International Journal of Engineering and Techniques - Volume 3 Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2017


Design and Development of an Automated Food Cart for

Small-Scale Restaurant: An Experimental Prototyping
Christine Marie J. Madrid1
Department of Electronics and Communication Technology, University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines,
CM Recto Avenue, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

The automated food cart is capable of following a line and detecting an object and designed based on Arduino
Mega microcontroller unit with an ultrasonic distance sensor for sensing objects, IR sensors as its primitive reactive
sense to follow a line. The automated cart used a Motolite battery as its main power source that is responsible for
the movement of the output. There are two fixed wheels that are directly connected to the DC Motor and this is
paired by a caster wheel. This automated food cart used Arduino 1.6.9 programming software which is compatible
with the Arduino Mega microcontroller that is programmable in C Language. The prototype is low cost compared
to the existing product with the same output in terms of performance. This research lessen the human intervention
giving the owner high profit less the cost on staff in the long run. On the other hand, this automated food cart can
only carry a reasonable amount of food .It has also a limited speed to transfer food from one point to another. Lastly
is, it can only perform its’ task in a flat horizontal surface.

Keywords — Automated Food Cart, Food cart, Microcontroller-based food cart

conventional way in serving food in a restaurant

is through our waiter and waitresses. These people
are paid to render services to the costumers.
The term robot comes from the Czech word The premise of the study includes the design,
robota, which means forced labor or subservient development, and evaluation of an Arduino-based
labor. In Czech, a robotnik is a peasant or serf automated restaurant food cart. To the academe, it
(Gibilisco, 1994). In popular culture, the term robot could be used as an instructional material, it would
connotes some anthropomorphic (human-like) also promote our course in pursue of continuous
appearance. The word robot came into popular excellence in the field of Robotics. Lastly, to the
consciousness on January 25, 1921, in Prague with entrepreneur it would entice them to invest on
the first performance of Karel Capek’s play, R.U.R something that will attract the costumers.
(Rossum’s Universal Robots) (Concise The coverage in this study includes the capability
International Encyclopedia of Robotics, 1990). of the cart to follow a straight and curve line. The
Just like humans, robots would not function obstacle sensor, which is placed in front of the cart,
without a brain which is the program. Without it, can detect object and stops 70 cm away from it. It
the whole system will be useless. A program is a can only operate on a flat horizontal surface. The IR
series of specific set of instructions for a computer Infrared sensor can detect a white line on a black
to perform. There are a lots of application software surface and communicates via light. This study is
that could be used to program a certain device, like limited to the speed of the cart to move from one
a computer or a robot. point to another. Another limitation of this study is
One of the most popular businesses today is food
related business, restaurants for example. The

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International Journal of Engineering and Techniques - Volume 3 Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2017

that the cart can only carry reasonable amount of

Fig. 2 Second Layer
II. METHOD Fig. 3 shows the switching components of the
A. Robot Design
cart. Start button will be used for switching on and
off of the cart, while the indicator will be used to
Several factors shall be considered in designing show the status of the battery
ttery and the amount of
the robot. The design must be suited for the voltage present in the system. Both components are
allocated budget of the researchers. Moreover, the directly connected to a 12 volts battery
design must connect the objectives of the study.

Fig. 3 Switching Components

Fig. 4 show that the automated restaurant food

cart used ultrasonic sensors as its reactive sense for
bstacle avoidance. A microcontroller is used to
achieve the desired operation. There are two
Fig. 1 Top View ultrasonic sensors attached in front of the robot.
Fig.11 shows the top view components, two When the robot is going on the desired path, the
ultrasonic sensors are placed parallel to each other ultrasonic sensor transmits the ultrasonic waves
which are located at the cart’s handle. When these continuously from its sensor head. If an obstacle
sensors detect the hand of a person, the cart will blocks the way of the cart, the ultrasonic waves are
stop and if the sensors can no longer sense an object reflected back from an object and that information
within 10 seconds which is the delayed time, the is passed on to the microcontroller. The
cart will continue to move forward. The center part microcontroller is tasked to stop the cart when an
of the cart
art in the uppermost level is made up of a obstacle is detected andd to continue moving if
clear glass. This is where food is placed. The there’s none.
researchers decided to make this prototype
rectangular in shape considering its stability.
Fig. 2 shows the middle part or the second layer
of the cart. Basically, thee middle part of the cart is
just an additional space where food can be placed if
ever the uppermost level lacks for a space. However,
for the convenience of both parties, this part
could also be used as a space where utensils like
fork and spoon can be placed. laced. This layer is also
made up of a clear glass
Fig. 4 Obstacle Avoidance Components

As seen in Fig. 5,, the cart is composed of four

(4) wheels. Two of them are directly attached to the
DC motors and installed in front of the cart and the
International Journal of Engineering and Techniques - Volume 3 Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2017

two other wheels are the caster wheels which are height and 32 inches in width and it has three levels.
installed at the back part of the cart. The movement The height of the first level to the second level is 12
of this free wheel depends on the direction of the inches and the second level to the last level is 10.2
fixed wheel. These fixed wheels can either go left inches high. Each level is covered with different
or right. When it is moving towards left, the left materials. The first and second level is covered by a
wheel will stop while the right wheel continues to clear glass and the last one is covered by a steel
move and vice versa plate; each plate has a dimension of 36 x 48 inches.
ADC motor which has a high torque is paired by
caster wheel. An ultrasonic sensor is placed at the
second level in front of the cart to detect or sense an
object along its way. The component of the external
part is placed at the third level covered by a steel
\ plate. Fig. 7 shows the exploded view of the design.
Each material is exploded in each of its design
component to give emphasis both in internal and
external components of the prototype. Exploded
view clearly shows where the internal and external
Fig. 5 Steering Wheel
components of the cart are placed.

Fig. 6 shows the line following components;

there are two IR sensor modules, one for each side.
The IR Infrared sensor can detect white line on a
black surface and communicates via light. When
both left and right sensor senses white line then
robot moves forward. If in case either of the two IR
sensors detected black line, it will move either way
to look for a white line to follow. If both sensors
pass on a black line, the cartwill stop.
Fig. 7 Isometric View
C. Program Flow
The program is carried out by the robot which is
based on the overall operation described by the
design. With the operational flow, the program will
be developed accordingly. Errors in the program
will debug to achieve the robot’s functionality.
The program flow of the project as shown in Fig.
8 describes how the robot moves through its
corresponding conditions. From the start, the cart
will move when the two (2) sensors for the line
following detects the color white that will make the
Fig. 6 Line Following Components two (2) motors on. As the cart moves freely through
the line, the cart will stop when the sensor placed at
the front of the cart detects an object and moves
B. Robot Development immediately as the sensor undetected the object.
The isometric view of the project as shown in Fig. And as the sensor placed at the sides of the cart
7 is made up of 2x2” aluminum square, 41 inches in detects an object, the cart will stop and moves

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International Journal of Engineering and Techniques - Volume 3 Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2017

immediately if the sensor undetected the object. But 17.20 inches. An ultrasonic sensor is placed in front
if the costumer will pick for food, the sensors to detect an obstacle, and if the sensor will detect an
placed above the cart will detect the object or the object, the cart will automatically stop. The two (2)
hand of the costumer and it will stop the within 10 IR sensors located below the cart are used as line
seconds if no objects are detected. following sensors. The wheels used in front are a
DC motor because of its ability to carry heavy
weight and it is where the internal components are
Fig. 10shows the top view of the cart. It is made
up of aluminum square with a dimension of
32x20.4 inches. There are two (2) ultrasonic sensors
located at the top of the cart. Both sides have one
sensor each. These sensors are used when someone
is picking a food. Whenever it can detect something,
the cart will stop. After 10 seconds when it can no
longer sense an object it will then continue to move
Fig. 10 Actual Top View

Fig. 8 Process Flow of the Automated Food Cart


A. Design and Development

These figures illustrate the researcher’s design of

the finished prototype or the actual appearance of
the automated food cart that follows line with The right-side view of the cart as shown in Fig.
obstacle avoidance. 11 has a dimension of 41 inches by 32 inches. It has
three levels, 12 inches high from the third level to
the second level and 10.2 inches high from second
level to the last. The cart used two (2) DC motor in
front paired by a caster wheel at the back

Fig.9 Front view of the Design

The front view of the cart as shown in Fig. 9 has

the following dimensions: 41 inches in height and Fig. 11 Actual Side View
32 inches wide. The cart has three levels; the
distance from the third level to the second level is

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International Journal of Engineering and Techniques - Volume 3 Issue 6, Nov - Dec 2017

IV. CONCLUSIONS AND criticism and friendly advice.

RECOMMENDATIONS To my students who assisted me all through out
The automated cart functionality proved to be the building and implementation of this research,
very reliable. The cart cost was kept to a minimum, thank you.
despite the use of costly line sensors for providing
crucial information regarding the location, the
object sensor in which to detect the object inside the
line track, and wheels into life and the last one is
1. Acero J., Alcaraz S., Sanchez JC., Tecson R., (2013).
Arduino microcontroller that seeks to provide the “Design and Development of Arduino- Based Line
brain of the automated cart functionality. Follower Surveillance Mobile Robot”.
The overall study of this project was suitable in
the assumption, in which theautomated cart was 2. Amara, R. et al. Explonatory Workshop on the Social
accomplished the equitable task made. Impacts of Robotics. 1982.
In the completion of this study presented the
design and development of a line follower with 3. Ayres, R. & Miller S. The Impacts of Industrial
obstacle avoidance mobile robot established several Robots. 1981.
recommendations in automated cart parts, materials
and overall process of the design. 4. Coffeit, O. & Chirouze, M. An Introduction to Robot
The material suggestions and recommendations Technology. 1982.
were based upon the evaluation conducted. Here are
the proposal and request for improvement:
5. Dalvi E., Robotics, Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 4
1. Definite design of the automated food cart February 2010.
body to make sure that the foods are covered up
ensuring that foods are free from dirt.
2. To make sure that the cart will follow a curve 6. Educational Resources in Robotics. 3(4).pp.1-
15.June 1978.
line, instead of using a caster wheel, paired the fix
wheel in front with a pololu ball caster.
In the overall process the study recommends 7. Engelberger J.F. Robotics: A Reference Guide to the
further study for the improvement of the design and New Technology. ACM Journal on Gibilisco, P. The
its main parts for more secure and functional Czech Republic: Home of Robotics.1994.
automated food cart that follows line with obstacle
avoidance. 8. Mick F., “ Restaurants in China with Robo-Waiters”
The study conjointly seeks to cultivate the next
batch of researchers to a higher learning in the robot-waiters-2016-7.Songsegyeong L.P.,”Intelligent
Mobile Robot”
prototyping projects of the students of University of
Science and Technology in Southern Philippines. 253.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 9. Weller,D., & Chiel, H.J.,(1999). Using Robotics To

Teach Science and Engineering. Communications of
I would like to express my greatest gratitude first the ACM, 42(6), 85-92.
to our Almighty God who is my source of
knowledge, wisdom and strength. Thank you to my
colleagues for their invaluably constructive

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